follow Dictionary.com

Denotation vs. Connotation

master key

noun
1.
a key that will open a number of different locks, the proper keys of which are not interchangeable.
Origin of master key
1570-1580
1570-80
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for master key
Historical Examples
  • The secretary of these flats, even the hall porter, should have a master key.

    Number Seventeen Louis Tracy
  • They then broke the seal and entered the room by means of a master key.

    The Slave of Silence Fred M. White
  • Look, only look into the closet; wait here a moment, and I'll fetch a master key that shall open every one of them.

    The Castle of Andalusia John O'Keeffe
  • He decided to say nothing about the Demon or the accidental striking of the master key.

    The Master Key L. Frank Baum
  • Pausing at a door, the cleaning woman fitted a master key into the lock.

    Behind the Green Door Mildred A. Wirt
  • When Raines came in he inserted the master key in the lock and opened the deposit box.

  • Why, oh why did not some intelligent person strike the master key!

    The Master Key L. Frank Baum
  • The theory of the class struggle is the master key to the bewilderments and confusions of history.

  • And as she looked at Harry, it was as if some key, some master key, were suddenly and noiselessly turned in the lock.

    Notwithstanding Mary Cholmondeley
  • To all this problem, vexing so many generations, the clear and witting touch of Lincoln's sacrificial penitence is the master key.

British Dictionary definitions for master key

master key

noun
1.
a key that opens all the locks of a set, the individual keys of which are not interchangeable Also called pass key
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for master key

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for master

8
9
Scrabble Words With Friends